The St Davids Hotel and Spa
Cardiff , Wales, CF10 5SD
Has a pool
Has thermal facilities
11 treatment rooms
The St Davids Hotel and Spa is a dramatic, modern hotel building right on the waterfront of Cardiff Bay. The Marine Spa is also very modern with clear, clean white space. There is a cosy relaxation space and The Wave Bar where you will have lunch. The light-filled wet facilities are the star of the show, with a 15-metre pool, a large hydropool with views of the marina and a 'water corridor' to explore. One of the few spas in the UK where you can swim while watching yachts sail by…
3 people say this spa is a social spa. 3 people say this spa is health focused. 3 people say this spa is solo friendly. 3 people say this spa is romantic.
The St David's Hotel and Spa is a dramatic, modern building next to Cardiff Marina. Built in 2000 and inspired by the marina environment, the huge white building looks like a sail blowing in the wind.
When you walk into the hotel, the height of the building draws the eye. The seven floors of the hotel have central balconies that look over the entrance and reception -- almost like a cruise ship. The views of the marina are stunning from every angle, and each hotel room looks out over the vistas.
The Marine Spa itself also has views out over the marina. If you're staying at the hotel, a lift takes you straight to the spa. If you've visiting for the day, the spa has a separate entrance right next to the hotel.
The vast Marine Spa is set over two floors. The pools, sauna and changing rooms are on the ground floor; the class studio, gym, juice bar, treatment rooms and relaxation room are on the first floor.
The main reception area is very much the hub of the spa. The team warmly greeted us, told us about the spa facilities, and handed us a robe, towel and slippers.
The changing rooms have lots of wooden lockers with hanging space and enough room for a day bag. The changing rooms are completely open plan. There's plenty of space to sit and put your things down, but it can be quite revealing if you prefer to cover up. Bring a pound coin with you; we received one on arrival but you may want to play it safe.
The showers and loos are clean but basic. The water in the shower is on a timer to save energy so make you sure plan your hair washing! A vanity area has a mirror and two hairdryers so you can preen post-spa. The spa has been open since 2000, so although the changing rooms have everything you need, they are starting to show their age.
The wet facilities are spectacular with floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the marina. The whole area is decorated in blue and white tiles so feels suitably nautical. The 20-metre pool is perfect for lengths; it's not too hot and suits a serious swim. The large hydrotherapy pool would easily seat a dozen people. We happily relaxed in the warm water, bubbling away, looking out at the marina. The third wet facility is a water corridor; follow the hot water snaking around to the strong swan pipes and a mini hydro-pool.
Next to the pool is a traditional wooden sauna which would comfortably seat eight, and two experience showers. There's also a selection of wooden loungers where you can relax after your swim.
The wet facilities have a vibrant, buzzing feel with lots of members enjoying the pool before heading to the gym or studio for classes.
Upstairs, the relaxation room is decorated in shades of brown and earthy neutrals with a flickering fire-effect screen to one side. The seven wicker loungers have blankets and cushions so you can snuggle up post-treatments. You can screen off sections with curtains if you fancy a little bit more privacy.
We had the Decleor Aromatherapy Escape Face, Back and Scalp Treatment (75 minutes, £95).
My therapist, Fran, met me in the relaxation room and led me to a treatment room at the end of a quiet corridor. The room was vibrant and feminine with a feature wall with dramatic rose petals. I sat on the high treatment bed and we discussed my skincare routine. Fran said she would use the hydrating products that contain neroli to combat my winter dehydration.
The treatment began with a relaxing full body massage using long flowing movements along my legs, arms and back. Fran kneaded my shoulders and lower back where I hold tension. Fran used a body balm instead of oil and it felt rich, smooth and very indulgent on my skin.
Fran moved on to the facial element of the treatment, cleansing my skin with a beauty milk and removing the product with steamy hot towels. Next came an exfoliation. My skin can feel sensitive when scrubbed too hard so Fran used a "gommage" gel exfoliator that she rubbed into my skin, then pressed and flicked off. The ingredients rather than repetitive scrubbing remove the dead skin cells.
Fran applied a Neroli face oil and massaged my neck, shoulders and face with soft lifting movements, kneading my knotty shoulders. She applied a cool and creamy mask to hydrate my skin and massaged my scalp while the mask worked. To finish, Fran removed the mask and applied a hydrating moisturiser.
The treatment was incredibly relaxing. Having a full body massage included in a multi-faceted treatment felt very indulgent. My skin felt nourished and soft afterwards: perfect for a cold winter's day.
The Marine Spa at St David's Hotel offers a wide range of Decleor facials and body treatments including massages, wraps and scrubs, beauty essentials such as manicures and pedicures and more holistic options such as reflexology. There are also choices for men and mums-to-be.
On our arrival at the spa, an assistant explained that lunch would be served as a bento box with chicken, fish or vegetarian options. At 1pm, we headed back to reception and staff took us in the lift to the Wave Room with tables and chairs a couple of floors above the spa. We were quite comfortable sitting in our robes and looking out over the views.
Our bento box had a feta and tomato salad, herby cous cous, chicken salad wrap, and an orange and pistachio cake for dessert. It was a great variety of food, freshly made and thoroughly enjoyable. The cake was delicious!
If you're looking to top up your hydration levels during the day, juices, water, tea, coffee and fruit are served in the juice bar in the spa. The juice bar has comfortable sofas and lots of magazines to read. The juice bar is shared with the health club members, so can get noisy.
The views: The marina is stunning. We visited on a clear day and the sun glistened on the water. We happily watched the boats and birds drift by.
The pools: The swimming pool and two hydro-pools feel large enough to get lost in, and they create a really unusual experience.
We didn't love
Paying £15 to park the car. We stayed overnight so were charged for parking, but spa day guests can park for free.
We were disturbed at one point by a group of members who took over the juice bar while the spa-day guests were in relaxation mode. We retreated to the quiet relaxation room.
Water lovers: The pools are impressive; there is something for serious swimmers and those who just want to splash around and relax.
City tourists: St David's hotel is perfectly positioned so you can spend the morning exploring Cardiff then retreat to the relative calm of the spa.
Fitness fanatics: The hotel runs lots of fitness classes and has a fully equipped gym, both of which are available to spa guests.
We gave The Marine Spa at St David's Hotel a Good Spa Guide rating of Four Bubbles. The spa has gorgeous panoramic views and the floor-to-ceiling windows help draw the outside in. The wet facilities are a real draw, and the dark and quiet relaxation room is a great retreat when you just want to curl up and peace out.
Supreme Spy visited in February 2016 and awarded it 4 Bubbles
Havannah Street , Cardiff , Wales, CF10 5SD
Tempus at Tides Bar & Restaurant offers relaxed informal dining. Tempus on the Terrace offers al fresco dining over-looking the stunning Cardiff Bay.
Choose from Classic King rooms to a luxury Deluxe Master Suite.
Monday to Friday: 6:30am – 10pm; Saturday & Sunday: 7am – 10pm. Spa treatments: 9:30am to 8pm every day.
There are no offers for this spa.